dispatcher906's Journey with Breast Cancer

Patient: Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Newly diagnosed (has not begun treatment), Diagnosed: almost 6 years ago, Female, Age: 61, Stage IIIC, HER2 Positive: Don't Know, ER Positive: Don't Know, PR Positive: Don't Know

  1. 1
    almost 6 years ago
    dispatcher906's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    I was having issues with swollen glands in my neck and then under my arm. I felt like I had had the flu for about three weeks, but it was all localized in my shoulder. Achiness (sp), swelling, and then stabbing pains in and around my breast. I had felt an odd place in my breast for some time, but thought it was because I had recently moved and had bumped it. It felt like a hard oblong mass that could have been a bruise... I made an appointment with my medical doctor, who referred me for a mammogram immediately. The radiologist had been one of my church leaders and took about 30 minutes to talk to me and tell me that, based on his experience, the lump in my breast was cancer. Then it was off to the races... An appointment with a surgeon and 4 days later, surgery.

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  2. 2
    almost 6 years ago
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    The lump itself was removed but no tissue.

    Procedure or Surgery

    My surgeon is of the opinion that using a needle to aspirate cells from the lump for testing risks spreading of cancer cells. He would rather remove the lump and test it. He believes this is less risky.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  3. 3
    almost 6 years ago
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    Decision Point

    I needed to decide whether I would have a lumpectomy or a mastectomy.

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  4. 4
    almost 6 years ago
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    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    The mastectomy was not an issue for me. I was told that, depending on the dye test results, at least 3-4 lymph nodes would probably be removed and possibly more.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    0 Comments
  5. 5
    almost 6 years ago
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    Axillary Lymph Node Dissection

    Procedure or Surgery

    During the mastectomy, it was decided that all of the lymph nodes needed to come out. It was also discovered that the nodes above the axillary vein are also involved including the ones that I had originally discovered in my neck. Because of the pain and swelling involved in removing the nodes above the axillary vein and because removal would not change the treatment, they were not removed.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    0 Comments
  6. 6
    almost 6 years ago
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    Decision Point

    Okay, so now I have two people telling me to go to HCI. Kathy, my Ricks College roommate, has a sister who is a radiology tech there. Mechelle, an admired and respected friend from when I worked as a custodian at Burley Jr. High, has a brother who went to Pocatello, Twin Falls, and HCI. They loved HCI. TF was okay, and they didn't like Pocatello at all. Maybe I should go to Huntsman Cancer Institute. I want the best care available but I feel like I should be home everyday so that this is not such a struggle for Holly (my daughter). She would have a difficult time with work and trying to take care of Kevin (my 6 year old grandson) and get him where he needs to go. Kevin needs me too. To top it off, Jakobi (my 6 year old granddaughter) will be here from Maryland during Christmas holidays and I want to see her as much as possible. Everyone has basically said that I need to be selfish and take care of myself first and it is hard for me to do that. Others usually come first in my life. Rarely do I do anything for myself. I just can't ignore my family needs.

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  7. 7
    over 5 years ago
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    Porta Cath implanted

    Procedure or Surgery

    My shoulder has still not recovered from the mastectomy and axillary disection and now is more sore, but maybe it will only last for a day or two.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    3 Comments
  8. 8
    over 5 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Day 1 of chemo yesterday...blood work at 11:20 then time to kill until 1:30 except the moved the chemo up to 11:30...only problem is that my arm and hand are swollen and so they were worried about a blood clot so they wanted an ultrasound of my shoulder and arm before the chemo. Couldn't do an ultrasound until 5 pm so started chemo at 3:30. Ultrasound finished at 6 pm. Stop and get prescriptions. Finally home at around 8 pm. Very tired...but things are moving in the getting better direction which makes me happy. Visit with the surgeon today...Cleared to go back to work as I am able and as I desire... Yeah! Just have to figure out what to do with the grandson between school dismissal and when his mom gets off work. (Of course, that is assuming that I can last a whole 10 hrs at work.)

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  9. 9
    over 5 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Had 2nd treatment of chemo last week and haven't had the energy to even open my computer. I slept for 5 days and then had to be very careful about what I did. I still have to watch what I am doing due to shortness of breath and have to take a break in the middle of everything.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  10. 10
    over 5 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Day 3 of Chemo...almost half way...Sorry I haven't been around for a while. The last dose of chemo made me very exhausted and all I did was sleep for 5 days. I also have had problems with shortness of breath. Hopefully, this treatment will not be as hard on me. I am grateful for all my friends and all those who are remembering me in their prayers.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    2 Comments
  11. 11
    over 5 years ago
    dispatcher906's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    0 Comments